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Become a primary school teacher, online

Now you can study to be a fully qualified Irish primary school teacher on the Internet with Hibernia College. It only takes 18 months and the degree is recognised by the Irish government. If a company like Hibernia College with very few employees and no campus of its own can set up and offer courses leading to professional qualifications, then what hope is there for bloated universities and colleges, with thousands of staff and expensive buildings?

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  1. Catherine,

    You are clearly unsuitable for the teaching profession infact I would wonder about your suitablility for any profession. I am currently sitting on interview panels to appoint teachers to mainstream positions for the coming school year and I have to say what a pleasure it would be to grill you in an inteview situation. You can rest asured you wouldn’t get the job. If you have a degree in psychology why don’t you go and do something with it or was it a waste of time.
    I am very familiar with the requirements for the Hibernia course but let’s be realistic the one requirement is an ability to pay the fees.

  2. Wow, I’ve just read this thread and had no idea there were such mixed views about the Hibernia course. I have a 2:1 degree in Psychology, a postgrad certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills and currently work as a home tutor for children with autism. I am currently looking into doing the Hibernia postgrad, as going back to do 18 months full time isn’t an option financially as I have a mortgage to pay. I ultimately want to work as a special needs teacher. However, reading some of the comments on here from professionals in the area has given me some concern. Is it really true that Hibernia graduates are discriminated against when it comes to trying to find employment? I thought the Hibernia course was the answer to all my prayers but I certainly don’t want to commit to 18 months hard work, along with the guts of 10k only to discover that I can’t get a job.

  3. F.A.O Catherine.M Marie and Principal Teacher(March 16, 2008)

    I chanced upon this site quite by accident and am apalled by the negativity on both sides of this arguement.
    Some of the comments left by current and past pupils of Hibernia do little to enhance the college’s reputation. As a Hibernia student teacher myself I feel you do no justice to Hibernia or yourself and I am quite embarrassed at the display of bad manners. You are certainly not representative of the majority of people on this course.
    The principals comments, on the other hand are unresearched and display a thorough lack of understanding regarding the entry requirments,content, calibre of student and intensity of this course. Whether this lady or gentleman is in actual fact a principal is dubious as I doubt very much whether a person of education and character would put in print such narrow minded and insulting words. I, as a teacher would certainly not be willing to work in a school where such an ethos was tolerated. My goodness, I feel I would be much too good a teacher and would have way too much to offer to be associated with such a school.
    For the record I am a (quite!) mature student who tries to emulate the best practice from all the great teachers I have seen. It would never occur to me to ask them where they have studied.
    I could write tomes more on this subject but I am much too busy dealing with my class and their work which are the only issues of any importance in this debate.

    Thank you.

  4. hi umm my name is stephanie and i was wandering if anyone can help me decide what subjects to take in yr 12 to become a primary school teacher i know i have a long way as i am only in yr 8 but i would like to be prepared on what to take in yr11

  5. Hi there – you all seem to be very passsionate about teaching which is good. D’ont forget the main colleges do 18 month courses also. I did one – it’s ok but one is definitely ‘pushed’ through and not really that well trained – although we has 3 x 3 weeks TP we only had ‘supervision’ – which is judgement not help for about 7/8 hours in all that time – everything else is just essay writing skills – I will be ‘training’ myself at work which I am prepared to do.


  7. Mara, I don’t know whether or not you are a parent.When it comes to your own children, I don’t see why any parent should be forced to accept substandard teachers.I see no proof that this hibernia course meets any standard. Secondary teachers who do the hibernia may be satisfactory but after that I think the hibernia in no way prepares people adequately for teaching.

  8. Hi Karen,
    As per my entry on 28/ 05 I am a mature student teacher with Hibernia currently awaiting exam results. I would have no hesitation in advising you to complete Hibernia’s H.Dip in Primary Education. I have yet to come accross the negativity displayed in this thread in the real world.

    I believe that there were many sceptics when the course went online a few years ago but the calibre of the course and students now speaks for itself.It is really up to the dedication of the individual how he/she uses the course time and content.

    I attended four interviews over the course of 3 days and was offered 2 of the positions. There are few personalities of the “principalteacher” type above sitting on any interview panel (of worth)thankfully and I know that many many more of my group already have jobs so really there is no cause for concern.

    I too had a mortgage to pay so I did work 4 days a week. I also have children so if this is the case with you, prepare yourself for lots of weekend and holiday classes!! It is very busy but worthwhile. The best of luck if you do decide to pursue same. Above all, ignore some of the more absurd comments which are not based on any experience or research

  9. how do i go about doing this course. what qualifications do i need to enter.?

  10. Is this vitreole something that Hibernian teachers experience in the staff room. Is there much bullying of Hibernian graduates becuase if tge predjudice?. Do teachers from Hibernia consistently have to justify their qualifications and existance in this way in a working environment? I am a born teacher, its in my blood and in my nature but all this is putting me off doing the training.
    Any Hibernian teachers out there experience this in the work place ? Dont want to be bullied because of snobbery if I do this course

  11. M marie,
    What proof have you got that Hibernian teachers are substandard. Please give evidence of youre claims. I only did two years of law in college( BBS ,ACCA) but surely claims like that are similar to slander if not substantiated?

  12. Hi,
    When teachers from other courses (Pats, Mary I etc are doing their practice teaching, they are also unqualified at that stage. How do you expect a person to become qualified without getting practice teaching. Hibernian College would not be still going if it had not proved itself. I really don’t know why there is such prejudice to the course. Alot of teachers in primary schools today are not fully qualified and are just subbing, thats why colleges like HIbernia are needed. Don’t give an opinion unless you have researched it. You are insulting the college and the students who study there. Its no different from any other college at all, only 45% of course is online, You still have to work as hard.

  13. I have just read a few of the comments listed above and everyone is entitled to their opinions. However I think really Hibernia bashing has come and gone fortunately.
    From what I can see the negative comments above are from people who have not had a good experience with Hibernia grads-fair enough but really comments like that are few and far between. Since the course has started in 2004 there was so much negativity however this has dwindled because Hibernia grads have proved themselves to be excellent teachers.

    Being a good teacher does not depend on your degree or where you went to College-its HOW you use it.
    And again it does not depend on how many points you got in your Leaving Cert whatsoever that comment was actually funny to read it was so immature.

    Anyway to sum up- I know of 3 Principals who regard this course very well and have hired Hibernia graduates and they are working out really well.

  14. You will know the difference in training of teachers when it comes to your own children being educated. Introducing the hibernia course as a quick fix solution to the teacher shortage in Ireland is NOT the answer. It has downgraded the value of the B.Ed. Parents should be entitled to properly educated teachers.The I.N.T.O. want the pupil/teacher ratio down to 20/1. What answer has the government to this? If you were a patient in a hospital you are looked after by nurses who would have equal initial training. I can not understand why anything less would be accepted for the education of children. I’d be interested to see surveys done on the quality of primary education here since the introduction of the hibernia.

  15. M Marie,

    You really should research Hibernia’s programme as you appear to be quite misinformed regarding entry requirments, course content and general practice in teacher training. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and you have, in your ignorance, completely misrepresented Hibernia students. It’s becoming a little boring!
    Definately my last posting to this site. Best of luck to everyone embarking on course.

  16. Updating on my post last year.
    I repeated the Hons Irish LC Exam & got a B2. Sat the Hibernia interview & got offered a place. I start in Feb & I’m absolutely delighted.

    For all the Hibernia bashing:- most of the concerns seem to be ‘who can you teach a 3yr course in 18 months’, which of course is valid, but why attack Hibernia in this regard? All the other colleges have postgrads of 18 months also. Why aren’t they being attacked?
    & worse than that:- what about all the students who train in the UK because they don’t even have the Irish requirement, study a completely different syllabus & only for 9 months, which includes no Irish, & a lot of the time no religious studies. They come back & can get permanant positions whilst having no Irish whatsoever. Why aren’t there any complaints about these graduates? How are these graduates less damaging to pupils than Hibernia graduates?

  17. becoming a primary school teacher? surely peolpe who attended colleges like froebel and pats will have a better chance in employment??

  18. Hi all, I am an Arts graduate with a Masters. I have not done any Irish since achieving a C3 at honours level in my Leaving Cert. I really want to become a primary school teacher, but I would like to know what my chances of acceptance are, and if the prejudice against Hibernia graduates is alive and well?

  19. I am shocked at the comments of the principal above. “You can rest asured you wouldn’t get the job. If you have a degree in psychology why don’t you go and do something with it or was it a waste of time”
    Is that how s/he speaks to vulnerable, impressionable young children? If s/he can make such comments to someone s/he doesn’t even know, someone who may infact make a remarkable teacher, I suspect s/he does. That to me is far more worrying than the perceived quality of any teacher training course.

  20. Just finishing my final teaching practice. Hibernia college students are extremely highly regarded as they have made a mature decision about their future i.e. to become a teacher. This with the obvious life experiences make them much more desirable to employ than a fresh college graduate straight from leaving cert into Pat’s. Fact

  21. There is a lot of food for thought in this discussion. I’ve just read through the whole thing and while I am shocked at some of what is included I feel I have also had my eyes opened.

    I would really like to ask those of you in favour and those against to give me your views on the teacher training at Hibernia.

    Back when I did the leaving cert I gave serious consideration to becoming a teacher. I decided I was not mature enough and would wait to gain more skills and confidence before going down that route. I completed a BA in Psychology and Communications in 2003, following which I did an internship in Youth Work and conflict resolution. In 2004/05 I did substitute teaching in both primary and secondary schools and loved the primary school setting. Since 2005 I have worked full time as a professional youth worker, dealing mainly with young people at risk in the 12-18 age bracket. In my free time I provide tuition at a homework club for 8 to 12 year olds. I have also gained post graduate qualifications in education and psychology of learning.

    I have been looking into the options for persuing a post grad qualification in teaching over the past year and was quite interested in the Hibernian College route, until I saw this thread. Really what I would like to ask is have the opinions on this course changed at all over the past few years? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

    I would appreciate any feedback, (though please lets not resort to petty insults).

    Thank you very much!

  22. During the course of my first TP with Hibernia the class teacher, who trained in St. Pats, gave me a tip: make sure you carry a good lesson for when an inspector comes in. I had to tell him that it wasn’t possible in Hibernia as we have to upload copies of our paperwork – lesson plans and timetables etc every night so the inspector can keep an eye on us long distance. Indeed when the inspector does set foot in the classroom they know everything that they are expecting to see – lesson, resources etc -they know in advance what you’re supposed to be doing and in my experience will callenge you on any discrepencies.
    TP in Hibernia is tough. The standard of lecturing and lecturers is great. The online tutorials can be recorded and played back. The onsite meetings are exhausting (that’s how we spend our weekends) but well worth it. The Gaeltacht is great but demanding. As a college Hibernia is aware of the negative bullshit spouted by ingorant minds above and they really put their students to the test to counter it. There are generally no extensions on assignments, no doors to knock on with sob stories, etc. It is hard work…anyone who embarks on study there without realising that will get a kick up the arse pretty quick.

  23. Anyone who did the 3 years of complete and utter hell in teacher training like i did will agree with me when I say what a disgrace this hibernia course is. “E-bay teachers” I call them. Would the government allow a nurse or doctor to train online.?I just qualified this year and I had a hibernia teacher on teaching practice in my class…who herself admitted “we’re not taught how to teach”. When she was on observation she couldn’t believe the basic methodologies I had and said she learned more watching me than she has done so far in the course. Now these were basic methodologies that were taught day one in mary i. She proceeded to teach everything from a book AND the inspector informed her when he was coming so that she had good lessons prepared for the inspector. This course underminds us as a profession. It was put in place when there was a lack of teachers, now there is a shortage of jobs it needs to be gotten rid of.

  24. Dear all,
    I am a fourth year B.Ed International Student. I did my leaving cert, I got 565 points and an A1 in Irish. I deserved my place in the B.Ed programme. If you want to become a teacher, follow my lead and do it properly. Do not support Hibernian college. “Graduates” cannot possibly be trained sufficiently in education when it takes three years (without chosen International year) to become a qualified primary school teacher with not only the knowledge and experience to work with children of any age, in any setting, but also a wide knowledge of the history, philosophy and sociology of education. If we must work hard for three years, why hand a degree to someone who does it in 18 months because they paid for it. We cannot pay to become lawyers or doctors or nurses, etc. Stop undermining our profession, in an economic climate which does not provide enough jobs for those who are properly and fully qualified. I do not mean to insult anyone by this comment, but I am voicing the opinion of the majority of students in recognised teacher training colleges.

  25. Well said Claire, and the very best of luck with the job hunt this summer.

    You’re dead right Lara. I am young and silly. Sometimes I wonder how such a young and silly girl could ever achieve 565 points in her leaving cert, a first class honours degree with a medal for top marks and a teaching job with 35 6th class students. What has the world come to at all?

  26. Claire, Hibernian students don’t “get” a degree-of course you must have a primary degree prior to taking the course. You are insulting in your suggestion that I have “paid” for my qualification. I have financed it certainly—was yours free????? Do a little research.

    Esther, correction to my last posting. Young, silly and cringingly immodest. Can’t wait for your next posting…you’re very entertaining…a scream in fact!!!!!

  27. The only reason why Hibernia is surviving is because it is cost neutral to the government. It produces “trained” teachers at no cost to the government. It’s a money making racket. I know you have to have a primary degree, but lets face it its possible for someone to barely pass their leaving cert, do any kind of degree for as little as 200 points and still obtain a place in Hibernia. I’m speaking from my experience; having a hibernia student teacher in with me for 5 weeks has really opened my eyes. Not only is the entry requirements unacceptable, the standard of training is inadequate. You may not agree with me, but the facts prove my point – most principals will not hire hibernia teachers, including my own principal and most if not all of our local schools. My inspector raised this interesting point recently in the staffroom – how can hibernia students possibly learn how to teach drama/p.e./music/art online?

    I’m entitled to my opinion Lara, and there is absolutely no need to be insulting to someone you don’t even know. If the only way you can defend the college is by making personal insults, it doesn’t say much about the course. I have nothing personal against anyone doing hibernia, including you, it’s with the college and the system I have fault.

  28. Well said Esther! If our “colleagues” have to turn to insults they are not welcome in any staffroom. Add that to the list of reasons you have already pointed out and anyone can see that Hibernia is a waste of time and an insult to our profession.

  29. Sorry Lara, forgot to address your point on finances. Yes my degree was extremely expensive, particularly for four years worth of teaching practices. Something Hiberbnia students wouldnt have to break the bank for seen as you all do so little of that

  30. Those people that are publishing their leaving cert results should try open their minds to new information. For YEARS non-hibernia colleges (St Pats, Marino, Froebel and Mary I) have been taking on people with degrees to study for a post grad in education that lasts 18 months. These colleges also take summer holidays. Hibernia works solidly for 18 months. 😀 If you have jobs then why are you so threatened by this? If they are inferior they won’t get jobs… But they are getting jobs aren’t they… 😀

  31. Regarding drama, PE etc we do them at onsites and in Gaeltacht. Im in my first year of Hibernia and so far I have had 12 hours of online lectures behind the theory of P.E and the strands and also 30 hours of face to face practical lessons in P.E. with a small group of 30 pupils. How many hours of P.E. did you have after 9 months of your course…

  32. Don’t get me wrong Lara, I am also dead against the post grad course. Mary I only took in 60 post grads this year and it is unlikely that they will be taking in any more next year. However the post grad is full time and extremely intensive and they do 9-6 every day, unlike hibernia’s part time status.

    Your the first hibernia student I know that doesn’t get holidays. In fact I am friends with a hibernia student who just completed her first year and she has her holidays now apart from an assignment due in July and her stint in the gaeltacht. If hibernia is claiming that they are working through the summer then I question if they are completing a full 18months of training.

    Yes I learned about this whole “doing lectures” while in the gaeltacht this week. How innovative of hibernia!! So the time in the gaeltacht is counted as part of the 18 months. Incredible. A newly qualified hibernia teacher told me recently that they did their entire art lectures while in the gaeltacht and the art lecturer attempted to speak irish but failed miserably. So they taught art when they were supposed to be learning irish. No wonder hibernia students have such a poor standard of irish. Plus you tell me ye did PE in the gaeltacht too? Was there any irish learned at all? ALSO i learned that hibernia students share a house with each other, so there’s no obligation to speak gaeilge unlike living with a family.

    Don’t even attempt the whole “we do more lectures than ye” argument. Your prospectus clearly states 14 hours of online lectures plus 2 hours of online tutorials, and a full day here and there. Ok so lets work out the statistics. So take away your 15 weeks of tp from the 18 months you are left with 14 months of lectures. Compare that to our 27 hours of lectures for 3 years, plus not to mention the hours we did outside of our timetable, extra SEN seminars, preparing for the profession seminars, 2 weeks extra tp in a special school which we did during our holidays, extra professional maths seminars, 1.5. hours of choir per week (counted as 10per cent of music) PLUS not to mention our trip to the gaeltacht…..during our HOLIDAYS

    I am not one bit threatened by the course. I have my job. You are missing my point. I am annoyed that the government thinks so little of our profession that they allow people to obtain the same qualifications in such an inadequate setting.

    Hibernia teachers getting jobs??? This opinion of yours will be very different this time next year when you will be looking for a job i’m afraid.

    I’m started my M.ed in music education in a years time and i’m curious to know how the course conducts its drama and music lectures? Is it also during the gaeltacht?

  33. I think your very misinformed about a lot of things.
    The Gaeltacht – we have our normal classes of irish in mornings same as every other college then instead of going on a random tour of a church or playing Gaa we do art lessons/ IWB lessons etc. 14 hours of lectures a week isnt the same as 14 hours of “in class” lectures. There isnt pauses between slides, there isnt Q n A time at end etc, if you have questions you ring/email your tutor. One lesson that runs for an hour could take you twice that when you take notes and things for it.

    I’m confident that my course is not inferior to yours. I’m also very confident that I’ll get a job next year as I and many others in my class already have a job this year (shock horror some principals would prefer to take on unqualified Hibernia trainees than Mary I grads)

    Can I ask you about your 27 hours of lectures for 3 years?
    Did you not take education subjects and one or two “arts degree” type subjects in first year, keep one for second year and specialise in education for third year so thats 1 year sept to june (8months) and a half a year (4 months) and a third (I’ll be generous and say 3 months) so you did 15 months of college…you think that you did more…but all us postgrads are doing 18…and we have more life experience and probably more subbing/classroom experience too.

    I have friends who have done other postgrads and to be honest everyone has loved their college including myself. The only ones I have ever heard bad mouth their own college has been Mary I grads (calling it Mary dry and saying there was too much emphasis on academics instead of practical methods) I myself can’t comment on this as I am not on the course.
    I don’t see why you feel you can comment on mine.

  34. Oh and I forgot to take our your weeks for TP from the equation so maybe you could do that for me.

  35. Where are you getting these ridiculous statistics “1 year sept to june (8months) and a half a year (4 months) and a third (I’ll be generous and say 3 months) so you did 15 months of college” from????? Why do you think our 2nd year and or 3rd year is so short? Yes we did an arts subject, but it was only 5 hours a week, so that equates to 22 hours of education subjects a week? When we were in first year the 2 arts subjects were 3 hours each a week. As for 15 months of college altogether I really don’t know how u managed to pluck this figure from. We started 1st week in september, worked until December (thats 4 months) Second semester is from 1st week in February to the end of may (4 months). Thats 8 months of lectures/tp for one year which is 24 months altogether for the 3 years. And our 24 months are full time, usually 9-6 every day with fully qualified lecturers who are experts in their field and practical lectures in drama/music/pe/ art every week. There’s no comparison, don’t even try. Also ye count your gaeltacht as a month of your course so really and truely your course is only 17 months.

    If your course is so time consuming how is it that most people have part time jobs when doing the course?

    Also you still havn’t answered my question regarding music and drama? Are they done in the gaeltacht also? I’m not talking about “theory” now, anyone can learn about the strands and strand units. (I can’t believe ye spent 12 hours learning about the theory and strands of PE). I want to know about how long ye spend doing practical workshops learning how to teach music and drama properly?

  36. Hi guys sorry to butt in on your discussion but I would like to get both of your advise.. I have been accepted on the 18 month hibernia course and also the B.Ed and I’m totally confused as to what to do! I have read both your posts and agree and disagree with some things you have both said. Firstly I keep thinking hibernia 18 months it will be alot cheaper than the B.Ed and it is an accredited course but I just wonder at the end of the day would I have more chance securing a job through the B.Ed. Also I have been out of education for 5 years so I feel the B.Ed would be more hands on and would benifit me more as I have more time to become the best I can. I feel maybe my voice would be lost in hibernia… I am by no means putting either course down but I just want to know how would I be heard if I had a problem or needed to bounce ideas off someone is it always waiting for an email response? Any advice from both of you would be great.. alot of people I have met that are doing hibernia think I am crazy to consider the B.Ed but then alot of teachers and principles I have spoken too and worked with have said they would seriously consider someone from Pats/Mary I before someone from hibernia… I have heard so many different stories I dont know what to think anymore!!! Would it not come down to the day of the interview and who preformed the best would where you were qualified really matter? and after a few years experience would it matter at all where you qualified would principles not just look at your experience etc? I have until tues to decide!! one hour I am like wohoo I am going back to college (and by that i mean attending a college–i am not saying hibernia is not a college) and the next I am gearing myself up for e-learning…advise pleeeease!!

  37. Hi Ellie!

    Well you’ve obviously read my comments above so you’ll know I’m a big B.ed supporter! My advice to you is to do the b.ed. It’s only 3 years, and they absolutely fly. Make no mistake the 3 years are so so tough, there is a huge drop-out rate, but Mary-I/Pats push you to become the best possible teacher. I’ve just finished my first year teaching and I’m so grateful to the college for everything I’ve learned. When you leave the college you are well prepared and ready for every class and every possible situation.

    I presume you will be a mature student? If so the B.ed always has a big group of mature students who work together and support each other. They are in the same class group and the lecturers always give them extra support and advice.

    You are right, in such a climate principal’s are more inclined to take on hibernia teachers. That’s not to say hibernia teacher’s are not being hired, they are, but it’s usually when the principal knows the teacher or they’ve subbed in the school or whatever. If you do do the hibernia course it’s part-time so you can sub during the day so it has that bonus. But Ellie, from working in a school and from listening to the other teachers and inspectors the feeling is very anti-hibernia and I feel that in the next few years there will be a clamp down on principal’s hiring hibernia teachers. I may be wrong.

    I know a recently qualified hibernia teacher who worked full time in another profession and decided after 10 years of it, she had enough and decided to do the hibernia course. She herself admits that the course is inadequate. She felt that the support isn’t there, she felt it was terribly isolated and that they just weren’t taught how to teach properly. She said they weren’t even given one sample lesson plan which is the basis behind all teaching. They were just told good websites to look up for resources and it was more or less left up to you. That was her experience that’s not to say other hibernia students have had better experiences. I would advise you to chat to someone who has qualified from hibernia and get their opinion.

    It is up to you. This is just my opinion and advice to you. Hibernia is quick and handy and you will be qualified this time 2 years. However if you want to be the best you can be in your profession, please do the B.ed. It is longer and tougher and possibly more expensive but Ellie it will be worth it when you are qualified and looking for jobs. If you do do the course you will wonder how anyone could ever learn to become a teacher on-line.

  38. aw thanks Esther.. I really appreciate your option.. I guess its the money thats really getting to me as I m 27 and I guess thinking how much its going to cost scares me as it would be a deposit on a house or could be used for something like that but I know education is invaluable and in the end I know I will be happy with my decision! Thanks so much

  39. Hi Eillie. Made an entry to this discussion on July 28/2008 and thought you might find it helpful…….
    ” I am a mature student teacher with Hibernia currently awaiting exam results. I would have no hesitation in advising you to complete Hibernia’s H.Dip in Primary Education. I have yet to come accross the negativity displayed in this thread in the real world.
    I believe that there were many sceptics when the course went online a few years ago but the calibre of the course and students now speaks for itself.It is really up to the dedication of the individual how he/she uses the course time and content.
    I attended four interviews over the course of 3 days and was offered 2 of the positions. There are few personalities of the “principalteacher/Esther” type above sitting on any interview panel (of worth)thankfully and I know that many many more of my group already have jobs so really there is no cause for concern.
    I too had a mortgage to pay so I did work 4 days a week. I also have children so if this is the case with you, prepare yourself for lots of weekend and holiday classes!! It is very busy but worthwhile. The best of luck if you do decide to pursue same. Above all, ignore some of the more absurd comments which are not based on any experience or research”
    …………………I have been teaching since and have on average 32 children in multiclass settings. I have found the job difficult but my training has translated excellently to the classroom. Generally I have found that most people are more open minded and tolerant of different methods of teaching/training/education than Esther, which is really important as tolerance/acceptance is the cornerstone of teaching a roomful of very different personalities.
    The very best of luck in your career. I think you will find the course best suited to your needs and whichever you choose you will get exactly the same qualification. Fortunately after a few years of teaching one proves him/herself regardless of where one trains and there would be no need to spout your grades/results/medals etc. The real proof is in the classroom.
    On another note, Esther you really need to stop your virulence against members of your own profession, you are giving a poor show.

  40. aw thanks mara.. I really apprieciate your opinion.. I think the hibernia is a great choice for people who are not able to go to full time college even though i m sure it feels like full time when doing hibernia also!! I hear it is tough going and I think fair play to anyone who does it and it really shows determination and as you say at the end of the day all the qualifications are the same.. its great to hear your working and got thru the course while working and raising a family.. thats dedication to the profession! I cant wait to be where you are now .. it wont be too long hopefully.. and I will enjoy the learning process:) best wishes and thanks again

  41. Ellie,
    Just a few things you may find helpful in cutting the cost of studying. I applied to my local Institute of Technology library and could study there, borrow a lot of the course books and use the net(which was poor where I lived)-all for 25 euros a year.I also worked in a temp position because I had to financially and although this was a huge strain it is doable. Before each period of T.P. I spent considerable time gathering resources(a lot of which were in the back of dusty school cupboards)and planning/printing/uploading all non-core classes in advance so that I’ d have breathing space to concentrate on Gael.Eng and Math during the 13 weeks of teaching practice .
    I have no idea of the workload in any other college but I should give you a word of warning regarding Hibernia. In the 18 months of study, I rarely socialised and couldn’t commit to go to any family events as I genuinely did not do anything other than my 4 half days of work, study,assignments, and on weekends/holidays attend on-sites.I was lucky in that my husband looked after our little boy constantly while I was busy. I found it really tough but very worthwhile.
    I hope you succeed in whatever course you choose.Best of luck

  42. I am not surprised by many of the comments I have read on this sitein the last half an hour. It is obvious that thsoe who have taken the traditional route of training to become a primary school taecher through the BEd. will be opposed to those who have opted for the Hibernia course and vice-versa. However the truth is that the Hibernia course was designed to under cut the salaries and status of the Irish primary school taecher. It was introduced in 2003 during the peak of the Celtic Tiger and was afore-runner to the savage pay-cuts we experienced between 2008-2009. This was also supported by the huge ‘teacher-bashing’ campaign orchestraed by the media and supported by the government in the last two years (which has quietened down recently). The introduction of the Hibernia course, the anti-teacher media camapaign and the pay-cuts are all directly interconnected. The are all leading to the down grading of the primary school teacher’s professional status. That is why so many principals and teachers qualified through the traditinal route are so angry. I am a principal myself. I understand why people choose to complete the Hibernia course myself and I cannot say that all of the people who embark on the course are not worthy of becoming a primary school teacher , some are quite talented and have the right temperament for working with children. I also know many a primary school teacher qualified the traditional Bed route that do not have such a teamperament and should not be working with children. But on the whole I believe a lot of people out there want to be primary school teachers for the wrong reasons and the Hibernia course facilitates this move- they perceive it as a ‘handy job’, ‘long holidays, short hours, easy number dealing with children, good pay for short hours, bit of staus attached. It is only when they are in the profession they realise that not everything is as easy as they may have previously assumed. the comments posted on this site by aspiring, current and past Hibernia students supports my theory. Mothers awnting to go back and become primary school teachers, people who are aeking do you need Gaeilge or what are the requirements to get onto the course. It just apperas as though they see it as a ‘handy number’ and are not embarssed by the fact that they may not have the right qualifications for the occupation- they see a chance to get in the door and trying to grab it, with very little thought as to what it will entail and what they have personally to offer. I know that peolpe have mortgagaes to pay and families to rear which makes full time education very difficult and therefore the Hibernia is an easier option. But if that is the case you should have chosen this career when you were younger, straight out of school. or at least be prepared to make the sacrifice and undertake full-time study if you believe you only got your ‘calling’ to teaching at an older age. The truth is you do not want to make that sacrifice because you didn’t get any ‘calling’ to become a teacher at an older age- you just see teaching as ahandy number offering a very safe and permanent position. Most of these graduates chased the money jobs in the earlire days and when it didn’t go to their liking decide to go into teaching. And AS for the mothers many young teachers put being a mother on hold while they train full- time to become a teacher, then they start a family later on down the line. Most of these mothers only want to be teachers now because they see the local primary school teacher at the gate of the school welcoming in her class and say to themselves that job would suit me- short hours, can bring the kids to work, long holidays, ‘good pay’, status. They assume it is an easy job , that anybody can do it properly, including them, especially because they are a mother. They want to enter the profession for all the wrong reasons , that is why they did not receive their ‘calling’ at an earlier age. I think there is a lot of jealousy out there concerning thsoe that entered the profession the traditional way. The Hibernia course has been used to undercut the pay and staus of the profession. I do not view thsoe who have completed the 18 month full time pstgraduate course in primary school teaching at the recognised Irish training colleges who hold Arts, Music, Science, language degrees. As these graduates could of become secondary school teachers, their degrees offer something to the primary school child . And the 18 month full time course is extremely intensive and Gaeilge is covered in a full time capacity. In fact these students are interviewed on the basis of personality as well as qualifications to see are suitable for the profession and are they entering it for the right reasons. That is why so many are turned down and it is so hard to gain a place on the course.the interviewers see that many of teh applicants are trying to get onto the course for the wrong reasons and have not the personality for the job. My gripe is taht these applicants with ‘unsuitable’ personalities who are turned down then apply to Hibernia and are accepted. Because Hibernia wants to make as much money as possible and does have as a high a standard. Obviously there will always be the exception to the rule and I undersatnd how thsoe on teh course may resent such a view. bUT YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT FROM AN OBJECTIVE VIEW POINT. It is undercutting the status of our profession . Originally Hibernia graduates were not to be put on the same pay scale point as fill time graduates because they were part of a part-time course. That in itself highlights how the government viewed the status of Hibernia graduates and the course they had completed. This is not to be taken personally. But i do think a lot of Hibernia grduates entered the course for the ‘wrong reasons’ as outlined above. I will be attacked for saying so but I believe it is the truth. And Hibernia was the beginning of the end , five years after its introduction , we experienced massive public attack as a profession followed by pay-cuts and possibly future down-grading of working conditions. It is all part of a plan to bring primary school teaching down to the same status as working in a shop- ‘sure anybody can do it’. Where does that leave the children? , the innocent victims in this cost cutting campaign!

  43. P.S. I apologise in advance of any typing, spacing errors I may have amde in my last posting- I am in a rush and these are casual postings.

  44. As I said I am actually on the go at the moment so any typing, spacing, reversal of letters errors are due to my current circumstances- so I do apologise in advance.

  45. Hello to all,
    I am 24 years of age and also a mother. I agree and disagree with some of the above comments. I have a certificate and MA in Accounting (Thesis is education), a certificate in TAS/Business Flight Simulator, HNS Degree in Business Studies, JEB qualification, all with Class 1 results and have been considering a post-grad Dip for teaching secondary level, which Hibernia is developing at present. I have voluntarily substituted in primary and secondary schools along with grinds and I a youth reach leader, all for the past two years. I do not believe that any of this matters as such for teaching. From my experience, some teachers from primary, secondary, and third level schools were intelligent but lacked the ability to teach their intelligence and some were not so intelligent although were excellent at teaching in a manner which I at the various stages of life understood. Regardless of where you study, that does not make you a GOOD teacher and that is what is important for the children to get the education they deserve for their future, forget about finances and hours of lectures, TP and the Gaeltacht. In fact I live in the Gaeltacht, and have done so my whole life, and to be honest, there are not many houses that speak fluent Irish on a continuing basis and indeed I dont believe that student’s learn a great deal for their weeks in the Gaeltacht. Also, having looked at the Post Grad Dip from both perspectives, I have found that Hibernia actually spend 3 weeks more than the college route in regards to lectures and the same amount of time in TP and the Gaeltacht. I do believe that prospective students should be interviewed for teaching as I have said, just because a person is intelligent, that does not make them good mentors and teachers. I, as a mother do feel that being a mother does help in teaching, as I have learned alot through doing homework with my child attempting various methods in learning my child, as I believe each child is different and so has different learning abilities which requires various methods to be adopted to suit that child. This is something that is difficult to understand until you have children of your own. In regards to who is the best, I think you are being petty and have moved away from what is important, the children. Actually, at secondary school, I had an Irish teacher for a year who merely had a degree and, honestly, she was the best teacher I had in all my time at school/college and in all subjects. I do not believe that a good teacher is a result of learning how to be a teacher, I believe that a person is born to be a teacher as a result of their personality. That is not something you can learn at any college. I do agree some get into it for the wrong reason. I always wanted to be a teacher, although, did not feel at the age of 16 that I would be the best teacher, and so decided not to as I wanted what was best for the future children, even If that meant me not pursuing my dream. Later, through helping my little brother and sister who are 12 and 14 years my junior and doing homework with my daughter, I realised, from their experience, that I would be a good teacher. Although, I spent 5 years at College (Full-Time) and then a further year doing professional exams, I do not regard this as a waste of time, as I have gained a vast amount of knowledge on the subject criteria I may be teaching, although, I may not have a qualification in teaching, that does not mean I am not a good teacher. Do not get me wrong, I will get a qualification in teaching as I hope it will make me a better teacher, but I will not let that get to my ego. I do believe interviews would be a good idea for Hibernia as an interview can tell alot about one’s personality, however, I would never put down Hibernia. I am substitute teaching and If I do Hibernia, I will continue to teach, thus I will have 2 years of substitute teaching while gaining the qualification, how is that inferior??? Perhaps at other universities, you learn more theory on how to teach, perhaps I am wrong, but my experience is that practical experience is where a person can learn more rapidly. I am not putting the traditional methods down, it is just that Hibernia seems to be getting the “push around” here. And I do realise that in my particular case (secondary school teaching, where the knowledge needed is larger and more subject specific), the Hibernia course may be perceived as “up to scratch”. And I do understand where you are all coming from as I have recently confronted the local School Board, where my child attends, as they had a substitute teacher, who had a certificate in arts and crafts teaching 6th class, although the particular individual did not know how to do one of the maths questions, not at all good for my little brother. For primary school teaching, I do consider Irish important, although, completing a degree in Irish does not mean you can fluently speak it or know everything about it, as alot of people do without gaining any degree. I think that as long as a person has Irish, is capable of teaching from a personality perspective, then they probably are good teachers. I am not knocking qualifications, but they do not speak the volumes that some of you may consider. I just cannot understand why you are all so furious about this, it is not the type of qualification or the where you gain your qualification that is the problem. If you have a problem with the education system being knocked, cuts, etc and are really worried about our children and the future of this economy, it is the Government that is the problem, it is them that is providing the system and putting cuts in place and the people of Ireland are as much to blame. I have seen people and heard them complain, however, they do not try hard enough in unity to stop this from happening. Yes, there are strikes for pay cuts, but not for increased class size, which I believe is more important than teachers getting pay cuts. Teachers do get paid well, perhaps, not enough for the role involved at times, although you are working for public service, the beneift of helping children is a pay in itself, it is the best gift you can possibly give a child. I as an accountant have earned twice what teachers earn, however, I want to be a teacher as I believe it is more meaningful and feel reward in believing that I have helped a child become more sucessful in their future ambitions, made them enjoy their school years and give them the confidence they need to sustain life. That to me is much more important than financial aspects. Yes the holidays is great, it means that I have a great balance for work and being a mother. I do not see what is wrong with that. I am not suggesting that any of you are tainting each person with the one brush, although, you are when it comes to Hibernia. If I get my qualification with Hibernia, would you hold that against me aswell????

  46. Jennifer, a few questions,
    Have you ever worked in another job/ have you any experience of life/work outside the classroom?
    Have you ever considered that a person may wish to change their career path?
    Do you believe that “mothers”-(you manage to make this word sound like an insult) have a right to work? -without mums you wouldn’t have a job!!!!
    Are you so insulting to shop workers to their face or does your on-line”status” protect you?
    I have no affiliation with the Dept of Education, I’m just a casual browser. I find your tone supercilious and your superiority nauseating. If you are the calibre of the typical principal in this country you hardly recommend the profession .

  47. @Esther

    As someone who has just been accepted onto the next Hibernia course I hope that I will be in a position, on qualifying, to teach my future pupils the correct use of an apostrophe, a skill, which unfortunately, you did not seem to acquire during your B.Ed.

    Perhaps you could ask Hibernia whether or not they do any refresher courses on English punctuation so that you can ensure that you are, as you state, ready for any every class and every possible situation.


  48. @Jennifer
    Well said Jennifer. Is it any wonder that the government is bringing the teachers working for free scheme?

    @A Parent
    Of course people may want to change their career. However, like every other profession, a person who decides to change their career and do teaching should have to get the proper training i.e. a b.ed degree. In no other profession do you see a “short cut” like hibernia.

    I do agree with you that intelligence doesn’t make a good teacher. However, it is my opinion that a teacher does need a certain level of intelligence.
    I also agree that all prospective student teachers should do an interview. There should be an interview with the b.ed. However, from my experience of a b.ed degree, you find out fairly quickly whether or not you are meant to be a teacher. The TP inspectors don’t be long telling you it’s not for you. (Unlike the Hibernia inspectors Mary I/St. Pats inspectors are not paid by the students and therefore can be as honest as needed). You will not survive the 3 years if you are not a good teacher.

    I dispute the comment “I do not believe that a good teacher is a result of learning how to be a teacher, I believe that a person is born to be a teacher as a result of their personality.” Are doctors/nurses/lawyers just born as doctor/nurses etc? Yes, they may have a good personality for their profession, however they must go through rigorous training in order to learn their profession. It’s the same with teaching. Without doubt good personality for teaching is required. However, you are not fully qualified as a teacher without adequate training in philosophy, psychology, sociology, pedagogy etc. Otherwise teaching can no longer be classed as a profession.

    This is my last comment on this blog. I have nothing personal against Hibernia students/teachers. In fact I have good friends currently doing the course. If the course is available people are going to avail of it. It’s with the government/teaching council/INTO I am annoyed with for not doing something about it.